September 29 2001
We are having the most gorgeous weather - cloudless blue skies. Summer comes late to this part of Oregon, but when it does come, it's wonderful.
Brother Jim hauled up a load of wood the other day, Dad's Christmas present to E. Then, since he was bored while E and I were at work, he split and stacked nearly half of it. There's enough wood for a couple years, I think.
We went downtown today around noon. I wanted to participate in the Saturday Market Mystery Tour. It's a staged murder mystery with clues for people to collect and solve the mystery. But it involved a lot of walking and that didn't feel good for my leg (where I got kicked in the shin a week ago), so we bagged it.
I have finally regained the territory lost when I had to rip out part of a sleeve I was knitting. I'm so close to finishing the lavender-grey cotton cardigan, I can taste it. This has nearly been the longest project I've worked on.
September 26 2001
Doves and hawks.
Public debate in the letters to the editor section of the Snoregonian goes back and forth: try to understand the terrorists or stomp them firmly into the ground.
Yes, there will always be people who hate America to the extreme. Anyone who does the kind of violence that was done to our people in New York and Washington D.C. should be hunted down and punished.
But then what? We do short-term well, but what about the long-term? I believe terrorists are made, not born. Young people who have good prospects in a thriving economy are not good recruiting prospects for terrorists.
The effects of market contraction have rolled down to my company. We are cutting back on expenses and focusing our sales efforts in markets where we have developed good relationships. No more flying all over the country for salespeople. We won't be hiring any new people in the web department any time soon, either. I'll be taking on more responsibility for graphic production, which I enjoy.
September 22 2001
New York state of mind.
It seems Cousin Carla in New York didn't hear about the suicide attack on the World Trade Center until a friend from Tokyo called to see whether she was alright.
A few e-mails back and forth with Rebecca yesterday and we agreed on this one thing: we want America to be a hero. We want this country to lead by example, so that people will look at us and say, yes, that's a great country, we want to be like them. We want to be the ones who rebuild countries, not destroy them. I want the Marshall Plan in Afghanistan.
E made a very good point over our anniversary dinner at the Ringside. All this talk about the terrorist attacks as acts of war lowers the standard for burden of proof.
Yes, there will always be people who hate and are willing to do violence against America because we are the largest, most democratic, most abundant nation, whether we do good or ill around the world. But it is foolish to ignore the U.S. actions that have inspired hate. To Americans, the Persian Gulf War is long over, but U.S. troops still occupy Saudi Arabia, site of many of Islam's holiest places, and the U.S. still bombs Iraq. We may feel our presence is justified and necessary, but we must recognize that not everyone shares that same view.
I'm gimping around a bit today. Went to kung fu this morning and practiced free flow knife attacks with Sifu Chris. He kicked me in the shin. Then he kicked me in the other shin. Those little shin kicks hurt.
September 20 2001
All we are saying ...
... is give war a chance? I've been feeling uneasy about the idea of the U.S. going to war, and it's not just because I'm a namby-pamby peacenik. I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around going to war against an enemy that isn't another nation. It makes more sense to me to view the attack as a criminal act because it was executed by non-government agents.
So do we wage war on the country that apparently harbours and protects those whom we believe to be the terrorists? Here's your Apocalypse Now Redux. The Russians were humiliated in Afghanistan and they didn't have to transport men and materiel half way around the world.
We need long term solutions, not just quick retribution. We need to understand how America's actions and policies in the international arena have affected other nations. We've been the 800lb. gorilla of international affairs and we haven't always been a good world citizen. Time was when the U.S. government supported tin pot dictator, no matter how ruthless or fascistic, no matter to what extent they ruined their country's economy, as long as they claimed to be fighting communism.
The way I see it, terrorists are like cockroaches. You can stomp on them, poison them, but unless you clean up your own act, they're just going to come back.
September 19 2001
Today is our 9th anniversary. E sent a stunning bouquet of flowers to my work: Gerber daisies, delphinium, snapdragon, lily, iris, freesia and something else I never learned the name of. The Gerber daisy is particularly arresting; the color is unreal, like sherbert.
By the way, Nostradamus did not predict the bombing of the World Trade Center. If you've been e-mailed, or seen on a web site a quatrain that seems to describe the dire events of September 11, it is not a genuine Nostradamus prediction. It is an excerpt from a paper written by a Canadian college (or high school senior) student, as an example of how vague and vivid imagery can be interpreted as prophetic.
September 18 2001
A return to normalcy.
Well, at least my life is back to normal. I'm interested to see how it all plays out. Hoping the financial markets will hold strong. Hope we don't go off half-cocked, inflicting our own collateral damage = innocent people. Rayne forwarded an enlightening essay about the situation in Afghanistan.
Spent the weekend at Mo Duk Pai camp in rural Washington state. At least this year it didn't rain. Actually this was one of the best camps I've had. The theme was learning and teaching. One thing I learned was: it's good to be a brown belt. Brown belts get to delegate. After years of paying my dues cleaning out black belt cabins and kitchens, I got to "organize" other people to clean up.
September 12 2001
The day after.
It's been about a day and a half now and I still feel in shock. I just couldn't deal with it on this site at the time. I'll be damned if I'll let terrorists direct my life.
I e-mailed Tat and she wrote me right back. The Maaori women are stranded in Vancouver, B.C., not a bad place to be stranded if you have to be. They are all well, though they don't know when they'll be able to return to New Zealand.
Four Purple Mountain people were stranded in Texas. They rented a car and drove all day and all night and all day to get back to Portland.
I salute the courage of the passengers of the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania. Through their actions they averted the loss of many more lives.
I worry for the safety of my friends of Middle Eastern origin, who are, I am sure, as upset and outraged about these terrorists attacks as anyone. Islam is not about killing innocent people; terrorists of all stripes pervert scripture to justify their own unholy means.
It is a testament to the architects and builders of the World Trade Center, that when the buildings collapsed, they came straight down, instead of falling to one side or another.
All this time I've had an exposure to Hepatitis C, it has never been relevant to my daily life, until now. I cannot give blood. At at time when it is needed so badly, I cannot give blood. So I gave money instead.
Amazon.com has collected over $1,700,000 in $50 and $100 donations.
We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.
-- Franklin D. Roosevelt
September 11 2001
Rested, relaxed, revived.
Just got back from four wonderful days in Beautiful British Columbia at PAWMA camp, a martial arts training weekend for women. Of course I and all the women of Mo Duk Pai who went up had a great time. The only frustrating thing is PAWMA camp offers so many inviting classes and I can't fit them all in. When I hear about the classes other people went to I wish I could have gone to those classes, too.
The highlight of camp was the participation of a group of women who came all the way from New Zealand! And we owe it all to the Internet. The camp organizers got an e-mail asking if they had anyone teaching a workshop in Maaori weapons? Apparently one of the head teachers at National School of Ancient Maaori Weaponry, Tat Mahuru found the PAWMA web site; what caught her attention was that it was Pacific Association of Women Martial Artists.
Tat and her group of "gels" (we all just loved those New Zealand accents), brought their traditional weapons and training tools, CDs of their music, pamphlets and posters for giveaway, t-shirts for swapping, gifts for purchase to help pay for their trip and their joy and enthusiasm, laughter and big beautiful eyes and voices. I think nearly everyone at camp participated in at least one of the five workshops offered. The Maaori women joined in staff and sai (Japanese three pronged weapon) classes. They taught us so much, yet that was just a glimpse into the depth of Maaori culture.
The Maaori are working to restore their language, art and traditional culture, after years of suppression by the European government of New Zealand. They shared the experience of aboriginal/first nations/native people around the world that were colonized by Europeans, even within Europe (e.g. Basque, Irish), of being punished for speaking their language and practicing their culture. Fortunately, the Maaori have won national recognition and are able to recover their culture through such organizations as the National School of Ancient Maaori Weaponry. By coming to PAWMA camp this year, they have made our organization truly Pacific.
Learn more about Maaori culture.
September 5 2001
The flowers of summer ...
... have faded. I spent Labor Day cleaning up the flower pots on the front porch, composting all the dead plants (and a few live ones!) and consolidating the geraniums, which I hope will winter.
I'm all excited because we're about to go to PAWMA camp, a four-day martial arts training weekend for women. This year it is held in Beautiful British Columbia on Vancouver Island. I gotta go pack!
September 2 2001
E and I just got back from visiting my fam at the coast. We came back with a major haul:
Cousin Buz gave us a filet of silver salmon (coho) which he and the boys had caught that morning
Dad gave us a frozen piece of cod, canned prunes, canned pears and honey from Lee's son Mike's bees
Brother Jim gave us a frozen piece of ling cod and a frozen piece of halibut.
It was my dad's birthday Saturday, so we drove down to take him and Lee out to dinner. We also got to visit with my Aunt Violet and my cousins Susie & Buz and their son Grant. Sunday we took my great-uncle Harry for a long drive up Saddle Mountain. All in all, it was a very pleasant visit and the weather was lovely.
One of the first things that happened when we returned was ....
A visit from Evil Mommy
That's what I call it when we give the cats their flea medicine. It's just a topical application of a small amount of liquid, but from the way the cats act, you'd think we tortured them. Fortunately, they have short memories, and soon all is forgotten, if not forgiven.